Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)


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Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

When faced with frequent, unwanted calls, you may feel as if you’re up against insurmountable odds. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was established specifically to protect your rights. Congress first passed the TCPA in 1991 in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages.
In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home to provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted. The original rules also prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm, and require telemarketers to comply with any do-not-call request you make directly to the caller during a solicitation call. Telemarketers covered by the National Do-Not-Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove it from their call lists and stop calling you.

The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. TCPA places a ban on auto dialers and artificial or prerecorded voice messages programmed to call any pagers or cellular phones, or a call for which a charge is made to the calling party. It also requires that anyone using an auto dialer or an artificial or prerecorded voice message to call any number state the identity of the caller at the beginning of the message and give the address and phone number of the caller during the call. Lastly it places a ban on sending unsolicited advertisements by fax to anyone without prior express consent. If the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is violated then the individual that receives the calls may be entitled to $500 in damages for each violation.

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